The following words and phrases used in this chapter shall be interpreted or defined as follows. All other words or phrases shall be given their common, ordinary meaning, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
   (a)   “Animated sign.”  Any sign that uses movement or change of lighting to depict action or create a special effect or scene.
   (b)   “Awning.”  Refer to “canopy or awning” below.
   (c)   “Balloon.”  A flexible, nonporous container that can be of various shapes which is filled with a gas, causing it to inflate. Often the gas is lighter than air, to allow the balloon to rise and float in the atmosphere.
   (d)   “Banner.”  Any lightweight fabric or similar material that is mounted to a pole or a building by a permanent frame at one or more edges. National flags, state or municipal flags, or the official flag of any institution or business shall not be considered banner signs.
   (e)   “Beacon.”  Any light with one or more beams directed into the atmosphere or directed at one or more points not in the same zoning lot as the light source; also, any light with one or more beams that rotate or move.
   (f)   “Billboard” or “Off-premises sign.”  Any sign which contains a message or advertises an establishment, product, service, space or activity not available on the lot on which the sign is located.
   (g)   “Broken sign.”  A sign that is composed of individual letters fastened to a building surface or other support structure.
   (h)   “Building marker.”  Any sign indicating the name of a building, date of construction and any incidental information about its construction, which sign is cut into a masonry surface or made of bronze or other permanent material.
   (i)   “Canopy” or “Awning.”  A retractable or fixed shelter constructed of materials on a supporting framework that projects from the exterior wall of a building. A canopy or awning is placed over a door, window, entrance, outdoor service area or entire building.
   (j)   “Canopy or awning sign.”  Any sign that is an integral and permanent part of an awning, canopy or other fabric, plastic or structural protective cover. A marquee sign is not a canopy sign.
   (k)   “Commercial message.”  Any sign wording, logo, or other representation that directly or indirectly names, advertises, or calls attention to a business, product, service, or other commercial activity.
   (l)   “Compatible.”  To be harmonious, consistent, or in keeping with the character of the surrounding environs.
   (m)   “Construction sign.”  Any sign which identifies the owners, financiers, contractors, architects, engineers or tenants of a project under construction.
   (n)   “Directional sign.”  A sign, commonly informational, that directs movement, provides instructions or is secondary to the use of the lot. Generally, signs of this type indicate the entrance/exit, drive-through location, “no parking” areas, etc.
   (o)   “Directory sign.”  A sign which indicates the tenants and their suite locations within a multi-tenant building.
   (p)   “Entranceway sign.”  A sign that identifies the name of a residential subdivision or development and is located at the major entranceways to the subdivision or development.
   (q)   “Essential service sign.”  Any sign indicating services that are reasonably necessary for the furnishing of public utilities, municipal departments or commissions, or the public health, safety and welfare of City residents.
   (r)   “Flag.”  Any fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols used to distinguish a government, political subdivision, or other political entity.
   (s)   “Flashing sign.”  A sign that employs lighting that flashes, blinks, moves, oscillates or varies in intensity more frequently than once every three seconds and is not an animated sign or a reader board sign.
   (t)   “Freestanding sign.”  Any sign supported by structures or supports that are placed on or anchored in the ground and that are independent from any building or other structure. Freestanding signs include pole and monument signs.
   (u)   “Government sign.”  Any sign posted by a unit of government for the health, safety and welfare of the general public.
   (v)   “Marquee.”  Any permanent roof-like structure constructed of permanent materials projecting beyond a building or extending along and projecting beyond the wall of the building. Generally, a marquee is designed and constructed to provide protection from the weather.
   (w)   “Marquee sign.”  Any sign affixed to, in any manner, or made part of the marquee.
   (x)   “Monument sign.”  A freestanding sign which the entire bottom of said sign is in contact with the ground in a permanent location.
   (y)   “Mural.”  A design or representation painted on or drawn on a wall which does not contain any promotional or commercial advertising.
   (z)   “Pennant.”  Any lightweight plastic, fabric, or other material whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, usually in a series, designed to move in the wind.
   (aa)   “Placard.”  A sign that provides notices of a public nature, such as “No Trespassing” or “No Hunting” signs.
   (bb)   “Permanent sign.”  Any sign which has a permanent location on the ground or which is attached to a structure having a permanent location and which meets the structural requirements for signs as established in this chapter  and in the current Michigan Building Code.
   (cc)   “Pole sign.”  A freestanding sign which is supported by one or more poles that are attached to the ground in a permanent location and is separated from the ground by air.
   (dd)   “Political sign.”  A temporary sign used in connection with an official City, school district, county, state or federal election or referendum.
   (ee)   “Portable sign.”  Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, as a sign designed to be transported, including but not limited to signs transported by means of wheels; A- or T-frames; menu and sandwich boards; balloons, banners or umbrellas used for advertising; and signs attached to or painted on stationary or abandoned vehicles parked and visible from the public road that are not used in the day-to-day operation of a business.
   (ff)   “Projecting signs.”  Any sign, generally doubled-faced, affixed to a building or wall in such a manner that it extends more than 12 inches from the wall.
   (gg)   “Reader board.”  A sign or portion thereof with characters, letters, or illustrations that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face or the surface of the sign.  Also includes electronic reader board signs that can be changed or rearranged without altering the face of the surface of the sign.
   (hh)   “Real estate sign.”  A sign advertising the sale, rent or lease of the real estate upon which the sign is located.
   (ii)   “Roof sign.”  Any sign erected or constructed wholly on and over the roof of a building, supported by the roof structure.
   (jj)   “Roof sign, integral.”  Any sign erected or constructed as an integral part of a normal roof structure such that no part of the sign extends vertically above the highest portion of the roof and such that no portion of the sign is separated from the rest of the roof by a space of more than six inches.
   (kk)   “Sign.”  Any device, fixture, placard, or structure that uses any color, form, graphic, illumination, symbol, or writing to advertise, announce the purpose of, or identify the purpose of a person, entity, or to communicate information of any kind to the public.
   (ll)   “Streamer.”  A long, narrow strip with attached flags, pennants or banners resembling or suggesting streaming  or floating in the wind.
   (mm)   “Temporary sign.”  Any sign that is used only temporarily and is not permanently mounted.  This shall include painted window signs.
   (nn)   “Valance.”  That portion of a canopy/awning that hangs parallel to the building facade and is not larger than 25% of the total area of the structure and is used as a decorative heading.
   (oo)   “Vehicle business sign.”  See “portable sign” as defined in this section.
   (pp)   “Wall sign.”  Any single-faced sign that is attached directly parallel to a wall, painted on the wall surface of, or erected and confined within the limits of an outside wall of any building or structure, which is supported by such wall or structure. This shall include permanent window signs.
   (qq)   “Window sign.”  Any sign, picture, symbol, or combination thereof, designed to communicate information about an activity, business, commodity, event, sale, or service, that is placed inside a window located on a wall or door or upon the window panes or glass and is visible from the exterior of the structure.
(Ord. 2002-30.  Passed 11-4-02.)